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Release process for Guile 2.0

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Release process for Guile 2.0
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 13:10:05 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110017 (No Gnus v0.17) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)


Attached is a document describing the release process as I’ve done it
for 2.0.  The goal is to make it possible for someone else to take over
this nice job ;-), even temporarily, and perhaps to discuss things.

I can add it to the repo if you think it’s a good idea.

Comments welcome.


#+TITLE: Release Process for GNU Guile 2.0
#+AUTHOR: Ludovic Courtès
#+EMAIL: address@hidden

* Preparing & uploading the tarball

** Update Gnulib

The commit log's first line should be "Update Gnulib to X", where X is
the output of `git describe' in the Gnulib repo.

This allows us to keep track of the source code we use, in case a bug or
security vulnerability gets fixed in Gnulib sometime later.

Ideally update Gnulib several days prior to the release, so that
portability or build issues can be uncovered in time.

** Make sure it works, portably, and with different configurations

*** Check [[][Hydra]]

This contains builds and cross-builds on different platforms, with
different `configure' switches, different CPPFLAGS, and different
versions of the compiler.

As of this writing, there are unfixed failures.  For instance Darwin's
compiler randomly crashes, preventing build completion; the FreeBSD 7.x
box experiences Guile crashes while running the test suite, which were
not fixed because not reproduced elsewhere.  Even for these platforms,
make sure "things don't get worse", at least.

*** Check [[][Autobuild]]

This contains build reports from other people, typically on lesser used
platforms, so it's worth checking.

*** Use the [[][GCC Compile Farm]]

Use the GCC Compile Farm to check on lesser used architectures or
operating systems.  In particular, the Farm has ARM, SPARC64, PowerPC,
and MIPS GNU/Linux boxes (remember that this is not superfluous: Debian
builds on 11 architectures).  It also has FreeBSD and NetBSD boxes.

*** Use porter boxes

If you're still in a good mood, you may also want to check on porter
boxes for other OSes.  The GNU/Hurd people have 
[[][porter boxes]], so 
the [[][OpenCSW Solaris Team]].


For stable releases, make sure to update the SONAME appropriately.  To
that end, review the commit logs for libguile in search of any C ABI
changes (new functions added, existing functions deprecated, etc.)
Change `LIBGUILE_INTERFACE_*' accordingly.  Re-read the Libtool manual
if in doubt.

`libguile/' should also be updated as new public symbols are
added.  Ideally, new symbols should get under a new version
symbol---e.g., `GUILE_2.0.3' for symbols introduced in Guile 2.0.3.
However, this has not been done for Guile <= 2.0.2.

** Tag v2.0.x

Create a signed Git tag, like this:

  $ git tag -s u MY-KEY -m "GNU Guile 2.0.X." v2.0.X

The tag *must* be `v2.0.X'.  For the sake of consistency, always use
"GNU Guile 2.0.X." as the tag comment.

** Push the tag and changes

  $ git push && git push --tags

Normally nobody committed in the meantime.  ;-)

** Run "make dist"

This should trigger an `autoreconf', as `build-aux/git-version-gen'
notices the new tag.  After "make dist", double-check that `./configure
--version' reports the new version number.

The reason for running "make dist" instead of "make distcheck" is that
it's much faster and any distribution issues should have been caught by
Hydra already.

** Upload

  $ ./build-aux/gnupload --to guile-2.0.X.tar.gz

You'll get an email soon after when the upload is complete.

Your GPG public key must be registered for this to work (info
"(maintain) Automated Upload Registration").

Make sure to publish your public key on public OpenPGP servers
(,, etc.), so that people can actually use it
to check the authenticity and integrity of the tarball.

** Download

Make sure the file was uploaded and is available for download as

  $ mkdir t && cd t && wget
  $ diff guile-2.0.X.tar.gz ../guile-2.0.X.tar.gz

You're almost done!

* Announcements

First, re-read the GNU Maintainers Guide on this topic (info "(maintain)

** Update web pages

  - Replace any references to the previous version number and replace it
    with the new one.
  - Update news.html.

** Update the on-line copy of the manual

  - Use `build-aux/gendocs', add to the manual/ directory of the web

** Prepare the email announcement

  $ build-aux/announce-gen --release-type=stable --package-name=guile \
      --previous-version=2.0.1 --current-version=2.0.2 \
      --gpg-key-id=MY-KEY --url-directory= \
      --bootstrap-tools=autoconf,automake,libtool,gnulib \
      --gnulib-version=$( cd ~/src/gnulib ; git describe )

The subject must be "GNU Guile 2.0.X released".  The text should remain
formal and impersonal (it is sent on behalf of the Guile and GNU
projects.)  It must include a description of what Guile is (not everyone
reading info-gnu may know about it.)  Use the text of previous
announcements as a template.

Below the initial boilerplate that describes Guile should come the
output of `announce-gen', and then the `NEWS' file excerpt in its
entirety (don't call it a change log since that's not what it is.)

** Send the email announcement

  - address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden
  - address@hidden (for stable releases only!)
  - comp.lang.scheme

** Post a news on [[][Savannah]]

The news will end up on  The text can be shorter and
more informal, with a link to the email announcement for details.

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